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Opposing Viewpoint: 5 Questions (and Answers) About Bears

A three-game sprint begins Sunday, as the Vikings host the Bears in Week 15.

Both teams currently sit at 6-7, with each looking to win at U.S. Bank Stadium to keep its playoff hopes alive.

The Vikings are slight favorites to win, while rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson can make history Sunday against the Bears.

But what is Chicago thinking about as Sunday looms?

To find that out, chatted with Bears reporter Larry Mayer for a glance at what the Bears are thinking before Sunday's game.

Here is the Week 15 edition of Opposing Viewpoint:

The Bears snapped a six-game losing streak in Week 14 and improved to 6-7 on the season with a win Sunday over the Texans. How much was that needed, and how much did it boost the team's confidence heading into the final three games of 2020?

LM: Winning their first game since Week 6 provided much-needed relief for the Bears, but what was even more positive was that they dominated on both sides of the ball in playing their first complete, 60-minute game of the season in all three phases.

Minnesota got the win in the first meeting between these teams back in Week 10 on Monday Night Football. What's been a talking point this week for Chicago as an area where it needs to be better if the Bears want to win this time around?

LM: The Bears failed to score an offensive touchdown and were held to a season-low 149 yards in losing to the Vikings at Soldier Field. It's a given that they need a much better performance on that side of the ball and are hoping that they can continue their recent success. The Bears offense has scored 11 touchdowns in its last three games after mustering only nine TDs in the previous seven contests.

View photos of the Vikings preparing to take on the Bears for Week 15 during practice at TCO Performance Center.

The Bears rushed for a season-high 169 yards in Week 14, but also saw Mitchell Trubisky play his best game of the season. What has the 2020 season been like for the quarterback, and what does he have to prove in the final stretch of the season.

LM: It's been a roller-coaster ride for the fourth-year pro, who started the first three games of the season before being benched in the second half of a Week 3 win in Atlanta. After sitting for seven weeks, Trubisky has made the most of his second chance. In three games since regaining the starting job, he has connected on 67.3 percent of his passes for 776 yards with seven TDs, two interceptions and a 100.0 rating.

Aside from the big names on defense, who is an unsung hero who could play a key role for the Bears on Sunday?

LM: Third-year defensive lineman Bilal Nichols isn't as well-known as teammates Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Eddie Jackson and Kyle Fuller. But Nichols has helped the Bears replace nose tackle Eddie Goldman, who opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19. Nichols has registered sacks in each of the last two games and recorded his first NFL interception two weeks ago against the Lions.

And finally, do the Bears view this game as a must-win in order to keep their playoff hopes alive? With both teams at 6-7, it almost feels as if we're getting ready for a playoff game in Week 15.

LM: Given that the Bears and Vikings are both one-game behind the Cardinals for the final Wild Card spot, it's fair to say that both teams should view Sunday's contest in Minnesota as basically an elimination game.